Thursday, November 18, 2010

I learn something new every day...

Check out this contraption! This is what's called a "blower door test". It's used to seal a door off temporarily and determine the air-tightness of a home. They use the blower-door test among other things to determine the energy efficiency rating that a house can receive. Jimmy Nash Homes uses blown-in cellulose insulation, Anderson Low-E windows, spray foam around those windows, sealed duct-work, and, of course, a lot of folks are opting to install a geothermal system in order to be super energy-efficient. Almost all of his new homes have earned an Energy Star rating of 5 Star or 5 Star+. I can't wait to see how we rate! Jimmy's houses consistently score 25-30% more efficient than other builders in our area being rated by this standard. That translates to at least that much in savings per month in your energy bills, and potentially even more with the geo-thermal heating and cooling. This is so exciting, because we know that energy costs just continue to rise. So why not build energy efficient? New is better!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I admit I have a paint obsession. I love paint. Once, I had to break up with Benjamin Moore, but we got back together. I just couldn't stay away! Needless to say, it took me a long time to decide on paint colors. But I did manage to get them picked, and I love them all!! The best part about the paint is that no one else is allowed in the house while it's being applied. Not that you'd want to be in there anyway while they're spraying that trim paint (respirator mask, anyone?) but the fact is that's what allows them to get the furniture-like finish on the trim that Jimmy Nash Homes is known for. Who wants sawdust in their trim paint?? Not me and certainly other homeowners don't either.
So the painters get the house all to themselves for about two weeks. They cover EVERYTHING. Some things get extra special treatment. The island top came in during paint, so they stopped what they were doing long enough to get it on and then, whooosh...on went the rosin paper and three layers of plastic! Those guys weren't taking any chances! I was so glad I was there before it got covered up, because it would've been torture not to see it until they were done. Here are some photos of the paint in progress. We're getting really close to being finished, and I can't wait to show you the end result!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You've gotta love these guys...

Jimmy Nash Homes has great working relationships with the subcontractors that provide work such as brick, drywall, trim, hardwood, paint, etc. (This list could go on and on!)They are accustomed to working with us, and know the standards and quality that customers come to expect from Jimmy Nash Homes. They all do fantastic work, and since our fireplace was finished up at the end of last week, I'd like to show you the end result. If you can remember, I was having a hard time deciding exactly what I wanted for the fireplace in the family room. Needless to say, we are just tickled with the way it turned out. I can't say enough about all these guys, and anyone that has visited a Jimmy Nash Home can attest that they are the best! Here's a little before and after:

We still have a few details to finish up, but we're getting close. As you can see, if you can dream it up, they can do it. We'd LOVE to see YOUR before and after! Thanks for reading and have a great day!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We've done it again!

We have another "model makeover" under our belts. After selling our latest model home, we chose to move into the Chevy Chase and give it the same treatment that we did the Ashland II. It looks FANTASTIC! It has a warm, cozy, sophisticated country look. Jean Ann, the folks at Norwalk, and the project team did a great job updating and decorating this gorgeous home. Here are a few pictures of the transformation. To see it all, you'll have to come out to beautiful Patchen Wilkes and take a look!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm back!

Dear Gentle Readers, I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth, and the house has kept rolling along despite my lack of documentation on "Polly's House." I was shocked and flattered when I had several folks ask me about the blog in the past couple of weeks. I thought my mom was the only one reading it! I'll be honest...all my creative juices got diverted to making decisions on the house. I loved every minute of it, but they are decisions none the less. Building a house is like putting together a puzzle and every piece that you choose impacts other parts, so I really wanted to be mindful of every choice I made. I tried to make it easy on myself by picking things I loved, but the problem is that I love a lot of different things!

We work with Creative Kitchen and Bath for our bath and kitchen cabinets. Samantha was just THE BEST when it came to helping me all the cabinet choices that we made. My style is a little out of the box, and she helped me find that balance of sticking with what I liked and keeping it from getting out of hand...I can go a little crazy! I might have mentioned before that we have different packages from which to pick options. What I loved about these cabinets is that they are package 1 cabinets (with the exception of the laundry room which are package 2.) How fabulous is that that you can get full overlay maple cabinets, even white painted ones, within the base specs of a home? I thought they turned out great...

Laundry room:
Guest bath:
Gilly's bath:
Garrett's bath:

So as you can see, we're getting to the fun stuff. I'll take the next couple of posts to get you up to speed on what's been going into the house. It's been moving like crazy!

Have a great day and thanks for reading,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fast horses, good Bourbon, and....

...holding open geothermal loops??? Yes, I'm sure you knew about the relation between Kentucky limestone and the first two categories, but if you're like me, you had NO idea that hitting limestone is a good thing when drilling holes for geothermal loops. Most of the bedrock here in the bluegrass region is composed of limestone. I like to think that's what all that dust is made up of coming out from under that drill truck, and more than likely it is. However, I always thought you DIDN'T want to hit rock; that it would cost more money to drill if you did, and in some cases, that is true. Granite, for example, is a very hard rock and the drill costs can be twice to three times the cost of drilling through, say, limestone. On the other hand, you don't want loose, silty soil because the possibility is greater that the hole could collapse in on the loops. So, in a nutshell, we're in the perfect location for geothermal heating and cooling systems. Limestone is easy and cost effective to drill through, and it helps to hold the holes open around the loops.

What is geothermal heating and cooling and how does it work? Well, I had to do a little research myself when we decided to install a Waterfurnace geothermal system with the guys from Arronco. The Earth's temperature remains a constant 45 -75 degrees depending upon which area of the Earth you live. A geothermal heat pump moves heat from the Earth into your house in the winter, and pulls the heat out of the air and moves it back into the Earth during the summer. All this occurs within a series of pipes, or loops, filled with liquid that transfers that energy via an electric "changer" that then flows that heated or cool air through your home via traditional duct work. Now this is a very simple explanation, so I would recommend looking up geothermal heating and cooling to get a more in depth study. However, I do know that a 40-75% savings in heating and cooling means money in our pockets every month. That is easy to understand! Also, keep in mind that there is currently a 30% tax credit on the total install (no cap)of a geothermal heating and cooling system. I never knew I could get so excited about utilities! So if you are thinking about building, think seriously about installing a geothermal heating and cooling system. With substantial monthly energy savings, a 30% tax credit, pay back starting day one, and the use of a renewable source of energy, you can feel confident that it's well worth the investment. I know we did. And hey, with Keeneland opening in a couple of months, you can take a couple of those extra bucks and play them on the ponies, "Go Baby, go!" Oh wait, in this case, it's "Drill, baby, drill!" Okay, okay..time for me to sign off; I'm getting silly. Have a great day today and come back soon for concrete, hardwood, and tile!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A quick update...

Sorry I haven't posted for a while, but it has been more than a little hectic around here for the last month. I wanted to write a quick post to show all the progress on the house. The brick will be finished this week, and they had all the drywall up today when we got back into town. It's really coming together outside and in. I'll have a longer update later this week, and let you know more about the new model home out in Patchen Wilkes. See you soon!